Tag Archives: steps


I recently read a quote from the Chinese classic text, The Tao Te Ching,
“The giant pine tree
grows from a tiny sprout.
I pondered these lines and their meaning to me.  I reflected on the literal sense, the wondrousness in nature of a seedling becoming a tree, or a baby mammal, with its small limbs and closed eyes, becoming an adult.  And figuratively, the spark of an idea igniting and developing.  Growth – the potential within everything to become something bigger.

During my walk this morning I marveled about growth, about the tiny molecules – the building blocks – inside everything, with all the necessary tools to develop into something great.  I thought of God, of nature, and science, and the magnificentness of it all.  As my boots crunched on the crystalized snow I thought of the plants underneath, lying dormant during the frigid weather, ready to push their way to the surface and blossom in the spring.

I thought about the essential elements needed for growth: light, water, warmth, and nutrients (knowledge I ascertained in science class all those years ago).  I thought about how these needs stand true for both plants and humans alike.  How we crave these things.  How my new regiment of a daily walk helps fulfill elements for growth; feeling the light and warmth of the sun on my skin, soaking up Vitamin D, filling my lungs with the fresh mountain air.  My walks also allow me time to think and reflect.  I may be done with my physical growth, but these elements seem to help with mental growth too.

What signifies growth in humans?

What signifies growth in humans?

Growth can be described as the development from a simpler to more complex stage.  Is this true of humans?  Do we become more complex over time?  The accumulation of our life experiences influencing our thoughts and ideas.  Is real growth being able to decipher through all this, to learn from it, to pick out what is important and what isn’t?

I have the pleasure of having friends of various ages and stages of life.  I have noticed that some of my friends appear to have things more figured out; they seem calmer, wiser, more settled, and accepting, they ask more questions and are better listeners.  This to me is growth.  We can grow as a human beings in how we relate to others and the world around us, in how we see ourselves in the bigger picture.  There are lessons we can learn on our journey through life, to help us grow and develop, they are there in everyday events and interactions, if only we look for them.


First Steps

Today is the start of a new journey for me, a journey of discovery, growth, and fulfillment.  Today I leave behind uncertainty, my tendency towards worry, and pushing my own needs to the back of the line.  Today is empowering, exciting, and filled with endless possibilities.  Today I am strong, I am powerful, and I am ME.

Today I am following my innate desire to write about and to photograph the world around me.  To stop and notice, observe and think.  To breathe and inhale it all, the incredibleness of God’s world; from the grand beauty of nature, so apparent where I live, to appreciating the small things that touch my everyday life, a kind word, a smile, a simple interaction with another human that can seem so little, but mean so much.  I want to capture it, to dwell on it, learn from it, and share it with others.  And as I step outside on this first crisp morning, my journey begins.

The stunning view from my house.

The stunning view from near my house which is so conducive to pondering and peacefulness.

Each day I post I intend to set aside a couple of hours, to walk and ponder topics, capture things with my camera, then let my thoughts turn to words.  Today I want to share the stunning view from near my home, which accompanies and inspires me during my time for reflection, and also what I thought about on my walk.  It began with a quote which caught my eye this morning.  It was posted onto Yoga Instructor Sadie Nardini’s Facebook page, painted in it’s blue italics on a corrugated wall in Austin.  It is by America novelist and poet, Jack Kerouac, from his book Mexico City Blues “Derange pas ta tendresse, Don’t break your tenderness.”

"Derange pas ta tendresse, Don’t break your tenderness.”

“Derange pas ta tendresse, Don’t break your tenderness.”

The words jumped out the page to me.  I wondered why.  I reflect on them – Don’t break your tenderness – the letters swirling in my brain.  I think of tenderness as the way we act towards others, of patience, of understanding, of softening your heart and emotions to the way you think of and treat people.   I see myself as tender.  I like to do things for others, to anticipate their needs, and help fulfill them.

I feel I am being told to remain TENDER on my journey, which is important to me.  I want to continue to care about other’s needs and give them time.  But I want this new path to bring me personal STRENGTH too, and the ability to recognize and fulfill my own needs.  Is it possible to possess these two opposing emotions? To be tender and strong?  I try to think of someone who has these characteristics, and the first movie I owned, Braveheart, comes to mind.  I imagine William Wallace galloping alongside his troops embodying both these traits.  I dwell on the words brave and heart, both strong and tender.  And I know it can be done.